The Stories We Could Tell

Fitness, Old Man Injuries, and Bria to the Rescue

So other than beer brewing one of my favorite ways to spend my free time during the past few years has been a fitness regimen known as CrossFit. For the uninitiated, I know it sounds like some lame info-mercial, Body by Jake, type of thing but I promise you it’s NOT! I won’t get preachy about it but I love it.

Thankfully this is not just a Santa Barbara phenomenon so there have been other CrossFit gyms along the way that I have visited. Santa Fe has a great CrossFit gym and some excellent trainers (thank you Tait and Angelique), and since we were there for several days I was able to crash a few classes. CrossFit workouts tend to be a mix of cardio and resistance work completed as fast as possible. At sea level in Santa Barbara I would always be totally spent afterwards. Santa Fe is over 7,000 ft above sea level. Uh-oh.

The first two workouts actually went fine. The high altitude definitely added a degree of difficulty but I just chugged along a little slower than normal and got through them. Actually, felt great afterwards! Exercising on the road isn’t easy so I always jump at these opportunities. After the first two workouts I was pretty sore but this was a great gym with good people – so why not sneak in one more workout in the morning before we leave? Bad move. It was like taking the one extra run at the ski slopes before heading in. Long story short, as I was warming up I strained a muscle in my back. I’ve had this same injury 3 times before and I knew the moment it happened I would be physically worthless for the next few days. Embarrassed, I left the gym (remember this injury occurred during the warm up, not the workout) and headed back to the campground.

We were leaving that day for Taos so this was not good. I took some heavy duty anti-inflamatories and laid down, hoping a little rest and some drugs would limit the extent of the damage. Think again. Got up after an hour and could barely walk. Basically a muscle in my back thinks I’m about to damage my spinal cord so goes into survival mode by contracting as tight as possible. Then it refuses to loosen up. For a few days. Bria saw the writing on the wall and despite a mild migraine of her own she jumped into action.

Preparing the trailer for departure is a lot of work for one person. As much as I wanted to help my back was in full lock-up mode. Walking was hard, bending over was like getting knifed in the back. So I sat on a bench outside and tried to provide moral support as Bria dumped the tanks (as noted in a previous post this is typically my job), secured everything in the trailer, and hitched up to the truck. Hard work, dirty work. Then she drove us the entire way to Taos, a smile on her face the whole time. She is a warrior!

Thankfully my doc in Santa Barbara was able to call in my prescriptions to the local Walmart (what I had on-hand were old and I was about to run out) and today I’m way better. Morals of this story: exercise is awesome but don’t over-do it. Stretch and warm up carefully – more carefully the older you get. And Bria is amazing.


May 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thought this was to be a relaxing adventure! Get well James. We both are following you along your “path”. More pics of Tucker please!

    Comment by Steve & Cathy Smythe | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Of course Bria is amazing! Take care of yourself and don’t over do it – injuries are the worst! Glad you guys are having a blast though – Santa Fe sounds great!

    Comment by Nancy | May 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. Good work Bria – we women are amazing! James, hope your back is better soon!

    Comment by Jamey Hirsch | May 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. Wow – you still pressed on – good job. Way to go Bria.

    Comment by Dave | May 30, 2010 | Reply

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